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India last in first-ever pet homelessness index of 9 countries, Germany tops list

First-ever State of Pet Homelessness Index by American pet-care firm Mars has given India a score of 2.4, while Germany has scored 8.6, UK 7.0 and US 6.4.

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New Delhi: India has been ranked last out of nine countries in pet care by a new State of Pet Homelessness Index

The index, developed by American pet-care multinational firm Mars Petcare in partnership with leading animal welfare experts, has found that in India, there are an estimated 91 lakh street or stray cats, 6.2 crore street or stray dogs, and 88 lakh cats and dogs in shelters.

It measured the scale of pet homelessness and identified the top factors in each of the nine countries — U.S, U.K, India, Mexico, Germany, Russia, South Africa, China and Greece — that influence why cats and dogs become, or remain, homeless.

Each country received an overall score between zero and 10, where 10 signifies that no pet homelessness exists. 

India scored the lowest with 2.4, well below Mexico (3.9), South Africa (4.0), China (4.8), Russia (5.2), and Greece (5.4). Germany had the highest score, 8.6, followed by the United Kingdom with 7.0, and the United States with 6.4.


The State of Pet Homelessness Index is based on data collected across three focus areas — ‘All Pets Wanted’, which is evaluated by studying stray populations and responsible breeding; ‘All Pets Cared For’, which denotes pet adoption rates; and ‘All Pets Welcome’, assessed by studying access to care, and pet ownership barriers and policies.

India has received 2.7, 1.9 and 2.6 respectively in the three categories.  

More than just a measure of pet homelessness in a country, the index model was developed to account for country-specific context and challenges, and can help identify key factors both positively and negatively impacting the issue.

The report noted that “78 cent of pet owners in India report treating their pet for ticks, compared to the global average of 76 per cent. This helps drive up the ‘All Pets Wanted’ score for India”. 

The data further revealed a high prevalence of stray populations in India, “which is bringing the country’s ‘All Pets Wanted’ score down”. 

“Nearly 7 in 10 (68 per cent) of the population say they see a stray cat at least once a week, while nearly 8 in 10 (77) say they see a stray dog as frequently,” the index stated.

It also highlighted that the perceived effectiveness of initiatives from charities, governments and companies to help address pet homelessness drove the ‘All Pets Welcome’ score for India upwards.

(Edited by Arun Prashanth)

Also read: Nagaland bans sale of dog meat after incidents of pets being ‘shot at sight’ spark outrage


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